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10-digit dialing has been staple of life for over 20 years in Texas' largest cities and it is now coming to most of West Texas.

If you're not familiar with 10-digit dialing, what it entails is that for every phone call within a certain area code (or area codes if you're in an area with an overlay), all 10 digits of the phone number have to be dialed for every phone call. For example, under 10-digit dialing, if you were calling the KFYO Listener Line as a local call, you would have to dial 806-770-5790, rather than just 770-5790. Long distance/toll calls will still use 11 digits, which is 1+area code+phone number [1-XXX-XXX-XXXX].

10-digit dialing officially starts on April 24, 2021 in the 806, 915, and 940 area codes. 10-digit dialing is also being added to 79 other area codes in the United States. Other Texas area codes moving to 10-digit dialing are: 254, 361, 409, and 830.

For the area codes moving to 10-digit dialing there will be a six-month transition period between April 24-October 24, 2021 in which seven digit local phone calls can still be made. Then, after October 24, phone calls made with only seven digits can begin to be rejected by local phone companies.

There will be one major thing that consumers will have to do during the transition period for 10-digit dialing. That is make sure that all of the phone numbers in the contact list on their cell phone contain the area code.

The reason for the implementation of 10-digit dialing in these 82 area codes is the creation of a new three-digit-number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Last year, the FCC approved the use of "988" as the three-digit number that can be called to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The new "988" number will work the same as other three-digit numbers like 911, 211, 311, and 411.

The "988" number will officially go into use nationwide on July 16, 2022. In the interim, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can still be reached by calling 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).


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